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BEER and DNA

I am going to learn how to brew beer. It sounds like a fun thing to do. My Grandmother made cherry wine, so maybe making libations is in my DNA.

I never realized how important DNA is , but it is turning up every where. Last week I went to a presentation where I learned more about the Jewish DNA. I know I am Jewish , but I would like to learn where my ancesters trecked and where they lived along the way. I want to learn if I am a Cohen. I'd enjoy being known as a Priest, instead of an Israelite. It's that snob thing again.

I need to get started with  beer brewing. My Grandson will walk me through the first steps. I have never been much of a beer drinker. There are certain foods, that for me, go with beer. Beer goes with raw oysters, eaten while sitting at an oyster bar in New Orleans. The  beer has to be drunk from  the bottle. I like that moment before the first sip when you clink your bottle with your table mates bottles. It's a bonding act and so inclusive.  It sorta makes you one of the boys.

 There is a lot to learn about brewing beer. I understand  that my first step is a trip to a hardware store for some supplies, like a big plastic bucket with a lid. So far so good, because I really like hardware stores. I like to walk up and down the aisles. You have a chance to buy things that you can't find anywhere else, like chains of different sizes from the kind that you use on your ceiling fan to hugh chains that can do mighty jobs.

I need ingredients and that will take an internet search. Fortunately, the Grandson has that computer chip syndrome, so I am safe in letting him do it for me.

This is going to be fun. I don't think my Grandma ever drank beer , but making it will put me one step closer to making wine and another step closer to closing the link with my Grandma, my Grandson and me. It's never too late to be the sandwich between me and my Grandmother and me and my Grandson. It's all in the DNA.

Senior monemt

I had a senior moment that was still going on, hours later. Driving in my new second hand car, I had a brilliant thought of what I wanted to blog. I told myself I would remember until I got home in about 30 minutes. Now this is the scary part, I couldn't remember and no matter what tricks I tried, I couldn't bring it up. I'd worry about this except by doing research on memory loss, I have found that this isn't cause for concern. I'll get back this brilliant thought that I know is going to make me famous, or not, but not today. Oh, well, I'll have another thought tomarrow.

Today, I learned a little about how to buy apps for my iPad. I went for the freebies. I can do yellow and white pages, except no one came up but me when I fed information into it. Then I got an app that helps me tune my violin. It sounds a little tinnie but that's OK. I hooked up to Skype but no one answered my calls. Maybe this was just the kind of day it was supposed to be. A day full of contradictions. The sun was out, the day was picture perfect, I was enjoying what I was doing, only some things weren't working. So what. It's never too late to just relax, let things fall into place, stop thinking so hard and let the thoughts fill the blank spaces in my brain

Obits

I was reading our daily NYT this morning and I noticed an ad for placing memorial announcements in the obit page. Then I looked at the obituary page. I do always read the large obits of famous or noteworthy people. I've said before that I find them interesting . But on closer look, the columns of small print obits are more personal and lovingly composed. And each one that has a picture, is of a really happy, photogenic person. How did the family come up with such a nice picture when I can't get one good one of me. I hope I don't have to have died to get a good picture of myself.

The obituaries of these regular people are always so positive.The deceased was a good person,they went to church regularly, they supported their Congregation, their children were successful, they are survived by multiple grandchildren and a few great grandchildren. What you can make up is a story of what isn't included in the obituary. If I wanted a plot for a story, I would start with the obits and work backwards.

That would be so dissrespectful and I wouldn't really do it. This obituary is a families final way of saying some thing good  about thier loved one and having it published in a reputable newspaper. It would make the deceased proud. It's never too late to have this person be seen as a blessing to their family. It's the most they can do.

Flash Mob

At my orchestra rehearsal this week ,we were told that this Saturday, we are to be part of a flash mob. We were invited another time to be part of this craziness, but I couldn't make it. This time I will. It sounds like a blast and I hope who ever watches us, gets a laugh out of it. Our conducter is also a middle school music teacher, who has a group of beginner violin students prepared to play two notes on their violins ,at an all community music festival. These beginner violinist will be on stage playing their two open strings ,over and over again. We will walk on to the stage a few at a time with our instruments and join them in the two notes. When all of our orchestra is assembled on the stage , we will start playing Noblis Dona Paxem by Mozart. The kids will continue to play their notes and we will blend in with the melody. It should be a real happening. I hope the audience understands what we are doing.

I love things like this. It is just so amazing that I can be doing the flash mob thing. My Grandson will be here to witness this. It's never too late to enjoy the thought of my Grandson going back to Boston and telling his friends "Guess what my Grandma did".

Annoyance

I know there are anger managment courses, but how about annoyance management classes. I can get really annoyed with a lot of things. Some of my major announances are: drivers who don't move when the light changes,or on the flip side, the person who honks me when I don't respond immediately when the light changes. Then, there are people who don't clean up after their dog. Also,people who talk at services. I haven't been to a movie in awhile, but you can put people who talk during any performance in this category. I get annoyed when any one person in a public forum, make lengthy statements instead of asking a question. I think this may cover my announance threshhold. I'm really trying to think of more things that bother me. I'm such a woosh, I can't even think of things to get annoyed about.

I don't mind if a driver in front of me keeps their directional lights on for blocks. I tell myself that they must be new in town and don't know where to turn. That makes me more patient. I don't mind, too much, when a tall person sits in front of me at a performance. I am used to that. I don't even get annoyed when someone with more than the posted number of items gets in that line at the grocery store .I just tell myself that this person is probably illiterate.Maybe I am an enabler.Maybe I should go to anger management classes, but to learn how to get angrier. No,I think not..It's never too late to exercise patience, make allowances for peoples short comings and just go with the flow.

Line vs a circle

Ever see a dog chase their tail. They go round and round, chasing the same body part. Now think of the dog who goes to the park and runs in a mostly straight line. Who is happier. I want to be the free runner who moves in a pretty straight line. I understand that lines run together, some veer off into places you don't want to be, but moving forward is where the excitment is.

I should be changing as I move forward on that line.. I think somewhere, I may have read that your body ,in a course of several years ,completely makes new cells. True or not, the idea is that I can change with these new cells. That is exciting. I really like that. Maybe "I can't do that" yesterday is "I can do that" today. Even what I can do is different every day. A lot of times, my life gets in my way, but I should be able to navigate around it. It's either that or do the running in circles thing.

Circles are closed at both ends.I don't know if that is a good or bad thing. Circles are secure, a line is a challenge, opened at both ends. A circle of friends, a good thing, a line of communications, a good thing. I guess the best thing for me is to stay the same but change.It's never too late to take where I am in my life and just tweek it so I can change along with those cells.

Music workshop

I told myself that if I get all the way to Deniden, Fl. from Paradise, without getting lost, I would buy a lottery ticket. Well, I didn't buy a lottery ticket . I did pretty good for a person who isn't able to find the exit in a parking garage. It's another DNA thing I've passed on to a few of our kids.

I did get to my music camp, in time, and not too frazzled. I only asked directions once and it turned out, I was on the right street. I was just insecure. Reflecting on the trip, I realize that this is the first time that I have driven solo to a new city.

I had such expectations for my music camp,and I am dissapointed to say that I didn't like it that much. I guess I had greater expectations than value received. It was good to go though, because when I go to my next private lesson, I will tell my teacher how good she is. And the very fact that I got there and back is a big learning curve for me.

It's good that I tested myself. I can see that I am doing pretty OK in my challenge to play the violin and to read a map.

It's never too late to continue challenging  myself and maybe the next time I can buy that lottery ticket.

 

More Matzoh Please

I just realized that this coming Passover, will mark 61 years that my husband and I have known each other. We met April 10, 1952, and married 18 months later. That is a very long time. I went from my parents home to our first home, a one bedroom ,brick bungelow on the air base. We really shouldn't have been there. Those quarters were for airmen of higher rank. We shopped at the PX. I am still using the Revere Ware pots and pans that we bought there. I saw my first snow there. Yes, it snows in Jerusalem and it snows in Mobile, Alabama.

We've never gone back to Mobile after we were discharged. Of all of the places he could have been transfered, Mobile was not at the head of our list. There really wasn't anything there for us to go back to. We did go to Biloxi, Mississppi once ,to the Keesler AirForce Base where my husband did his basic training . That is how I met him. He came to New Orleans to spend Passover with a Jewish family. I cooked Matzoh Brau for him . Maybe it is true that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I'd like to think otherwise, but since I am still cooking for him and we have been married going on 60 years, that must be a truism.What happened to "you can't be too thin or too rich "?

It's never too late to think about making another pan of Matzoh Brau and enjoy it together.

Strings

I'm a little anxious. I am going to a music camp work shop. I will drive myself there in time for a 10 AM class. Knowing my terrible sense of direction, I have already called the camp, twice, I have printed MapQuest and I have a map of Florida, opened,sitting on the passenger seat. My cell phone is charged and I have my AAA card in the front of my wallet. I hope that with all of this preparation, I don't forget my violin and all of the trappings that I have to go with it. My bow,the rosin,a package of strings, a LED clamp on light ,a tuning electronic thingy and a metronome,my music stand and I will bring my music , just in case I was supposed to. Then what if there is a problem with my registration and I get there and I am not on the list.

It seem that I can get myself in a snit just by thinking about going to camp. Now I can get a feel for what it must be like for a kid to be going to over night camp for the first time. I hope someone talks to me. I hope I can keep up with the rest of the campers. I hope I don't break any strings.And don't say " break a leg" to me. At my stage, it is always a possibility.

I am looking forward to this experience. Along with my "it is never too late" attitude, I don't mind not being the swiftest in a group. Doing is what I'm about. So with that thought, I will take that breathe, keep my foot steady on the accelerator, point the car North and just go for it. It is never too late for my first camp experience.

Sports page

I don't know why I read the sports page. I don't follow any teams regularly. I do keep my eye on the Chicago Cubs. But that is because I am a loyal Northsider. If you live South in Chicago you support the White Sox's, live North and you are a Cubbie. You can't do both.

I read the sport pages every day. I know more about the health of some atheletes than I do about my children's health. I've met a couple of Olympians and a few almost Olympians. They are nice people.They just move faster than I do.

I am not happy when I read about drugs and what I think of as entitlement issues. I suppose I am supporting this bad behavior by even reading about it. I may have to stop reading the sport section . Besides the obituaries, there isn't too much that isn't even more depressing to read.

I like the obits. I learn about people's contributions in many areas. Since I read the NYT, they are already impressive just to make the cut. Can you imagine having your obit ready to print in their archives,just waiting for you to finally die.

It's never to late to cancel my morning paper, but I really don't want to. What if the Cubs won their World Series and I didn't know.

Friendly smells

My olifactory sense is my most developed asset. Smells trigger memories for me. When I sniff that sweet olive flower, my mind jumps to New Orleans. A certain beery smell reminds me of Bourbon street and the open doorways to the many bars that are on that street. I swear I can smell rain coming. It's probably explained scientifically with ozone and things like that, but my nose knows. There is a certain old lady smell that you can detect when you look at second hand clothes. Maybe it's moth balls, diluted.

I can remember a certain smell of Grandparents hall ways when we went to visit. A combination of closed windows and chicken soup. You smell it as soon as you get off of the elevator and walk the long hallway.

Some mornings, when it is a cooler day here in Paradise and the wind is just right, I smell a pine tree smell that brings back memories of Colorado.

Our old car always had the residual smell of Mc Donald's. I didn't mind,because it brought back memoies of those long drives we made to Colorado with a car full of children, grandchildren and a few dogs.

And library smells. Library's smell the same all over the world. I like that continuity.

It's never too late to inhale and just let these memories flow into my being.

 

Walk the dog

I have been thinking about all of the places that I have walked dogs.My first dog was a beautiful black Cocker Spaniel. Inky, named for the Ink Spots, so you can tell how long ago this was. Inky was part of my courtship with Bob. Inky came along with the katuba. When we were courting, Bob and I would walk Inky after a date. I can still smell the sweet olive blooms and when I get a wiff of them today, I am reminded of those dark walks in New Orleans.

In Evanston, we walked our late ,great Wally. Even though we had a nice sized back yard ,and Wally , for the most part, got loose several times a week, we still walked him every evening. We walked him to meet the kids at the corner of Ridge and Monroe when they walked home from Hebrew School.

We were walking Wally once , when we came to two little African American girls sitting on the top of one of those greenish postal storage boxes. I can't imagine how they managed to climb onto their sitting position , but they did. Wally relieved himself near the box, the girls watched silently , then one said to the other,"white folks do that" as we picked up Wally's poop.

I've walked dogs in New Orleans, where after my parents were gone we stayed in a French Quarter Hotel that takes pets. My nephews worried about me walking them at night, on Rampart Street, but I never felt threatened.

In Chicago, I walked our problem child ,Charlie Two, early in the mornings. There was a man who sold newspapers on the corner of Lake Shore Drive and Irving Park Road. No matter the weather, he was there. He and Charlie had a bond. When Charlie saw him, I would let go of the leash and Charlie made a bee line for him. The man always thanked me for trusting him to let Charlie run to him like that.

I never talk much about our little Jake. Jake the Snake , a dog put together by committee, Bob always said. We never figured out what he was. At the end of his life, we were "walking" him by carrying him in a L.L.Bean boat bag. He still got excited to be going out, but he hadn't much stamina. They didn't have doggie strollers and back packs when we had him. He would have loved that.

Then there is Cricket. Everyone loves to meet her on our walks. She ignores the dog and goes right to the two legged walker,making little whiney sounds as if she is telling them what a hard life she has in our home. The walkers love it.

It's never too late, if you haven't a pet to walk, to think about getting one. Life is fuller with one (or two).

What not to wear

My spouse and I both like to watch "What Not To Wear". And probably we watch and get different messages. I am impressed with how much psychology goes into their insightful remarks and how they don't pass judgment on body shape. They do take the recipient of their expertise and teach her how to purchase and dress appropriate for her present body shape . Bob watches it because he sees a woman who went from looking like a bag lady to someone who can own the room.

I would love to be on their program. In fact, when I win the lottery, one of the things on my list is that I am going to employ Clinton and Stacy to dress me. How many times have I said "what would Stacy and Clinton do"? Especially when I am at my favorite Good Will store.

When I walk Cricket in the morning and under my jacket, I have on my pj top and on the bottom, Mom jeans. I look around ,hopefully, to see if maybe someone is videoing me to send the tape to their program. It hasn't happened.

And $5000.00 to spend on me ! That would be awesome.

When I see those great hair cuts, I can understand why my Chicago running mate goes to New York for her hair cut. It makes a difference.

It's never too late to dream about Ted, Carmady, Clinton and Stacy and buy that lottery ticket.

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Latest comments

07.06 | 18:48

Have a wonderful time Leona.

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17.05 | 09:52

Leona, continued, you have a way with words so just write. No judgement ! ! You are blessed with the ability and gift to write,

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17.05 | 09:49

Leona, write about your experience in Israel with the virus and your flight home. Would all be different for us and very interesting. You have such a way with

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16.05 | 14:55

You are quite the writer...you are done for May 27! Relax!
We did get a good response! Susan

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